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The Right to Live and the Right to Die Clash When a Surrogate is Put on Life Support
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In episode 318, Pulling the Plug, Kayla, a surrogate mother carrying triplets, is on life support after a pregnancy-related clotting problem has put her into a coma. She doesn't have detectable higher level brain function. This means, as far as the doctors can tell right now, she may never wake up.
Though Kayla's prospects look dim, the three babies she is carrying for intended parents Angie and Simon McConnell are still growing. With each passing week, they increase their chances of survival outside of the womb. Their development isn't affected by Kayla's coma.
In the midst of this tragedy is Kayla's husband, Eddie, sitting bedside, hour after hour. He hates that his wife has become an incubator for the McConnell's. He wants to end the life support so he can end his wife's suffering.
The McConnell's only see that Kayla is carrying their children. To pull the plug on Kayla means the end of their dream of a family.
As this is now a legal matter, it takes a Judge to decide that Kayla will remain on life support until the babies are viable. She decides that in light of the heated emotions involved, no one is allowed in the room except for medical personnel.
Unable to accept the terms, Eddie takes matters into his own hands, and disconnects Kayla's ventilator. Our doctors rush in to put her back on life support, but Kayla astonishes everyone when she takes a breath on her own. It seems Kayla's journey isn't over yet.
There are a lot of people vested in Kayla's life. But who should have the final say? Is it Kayla's husband, who loves her? Or is it the McConnell's who love the babies growing inside of her?
What do YOU think?